back pain in kids

Blog 4/15/18 Dr. Carol Frey. Dr. Keith Feder

Topic: Back pain, inflammation, core strength, MRI, CT-Scans

“Mommy, my back hurts”

 Ice, anti inflammatory drugs, electric stimulation can reduce pain and inflammation in your lower back. Core strengthening, Yoga and Pilates can be helpful as well to heal an injured back

 It’s not just Grandma that has to deal with back pain. Kids experience injuries to their back as well, but unlike Grandma, their back pain is rarely from anything specific and usually goes away without any treatment.

However, it is more likely that an athletic kid will have back problems than a youngster who does not play sports #athletickids #backpain. Athletes are simply doing more things that can expose a weakness in their bodies.

Pain in the lumbar spine (meaning lower part of the back) accounts to five to eight percent of reported youth sports injuries. Although back pain is not the most common injury, It may be the most challenging to diagnose and treat #kids #lumbar #spine.

At the West Coast Center for Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine we get a lot of questions from parents about the risks and causes of lower back pain in kids.

Here is a list of things that can cause that kind of pain in your kid:

  • Excessive lifting and twisting leading to sprains and strains. This is by far the most common cause.
  • Growth spurts
  • An abrupt increase in training intensity or frequency
  • Poor technique (talk to the coach about this)
  • Poorly fitting or broken sports equipment
  • Poor core strength #tightness #lumbarspine #hamstrings
  • Hits to the spine creating contusions or fractures

It is often difficult for kids to point out to a specific spot for the back pain. The reason for that is simple: The anatomy in this area is complex, and sometimes the nerves get irritated and move the pain around a bit #radiationpain. A good physical will help to make the right diagnosis #xrays, #MRI #bonescans #CTscan.

The good news: Most lower back pain in a kid responds to standard treatment. Applying ice can be used for therapy to reduce pain and inflammation. Not more than ten to 15 minutes is recommended. A bag of frozen peas will do the trick. Electrical stimulation is a step up. This can decrease pain and promote healing – and should of course only be done under the guidance of a doctor or a physical therapist.

Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can also help with pain relief and decrease swelling. Many of these #antiinflammatorydrugs are available in any drugstore. Remember: Always follow the instructions on the bottle. Another basic tool to help back pain in kids are gentle exercises.

They are not complicated and can usually be done at home or with a physical therapist. Too little activity can lead to loss of #flexibility, #strength, #endurance. What can your young athlete do? – Try hamstring stretching, yoga and Pilates. Back and abdominal muscles should be strengthened to help the body maintain an upright position and movement.

Do not let your injured athlete miss school and simply lie in bed. If the back pain does not ease up, consult with a doctor.


3D Illustration of sacral and cervical painful, medical concept.



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